XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

What Did Kant Mean by and Why Did He Adopt a Cosmopolitan Point of View in History?

Thomas Sturm

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Newton
Data: 23 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 12 aprile 2010

Abstract

Scholars have left unclear what Kant means by, and why he defends, a “cosmopolitan” conception of history. I argue that his conception is to be understood against two related backgrounds: (A) His reaction to a popular theory and practice of historiography – namely “pragmatic” history; (B) theoretical developments within his own anthropology concerning the constancy and inconstancy of human nature. In part I, I show what versions there existed of pragmatic history, and how they got into conflict with one another over three problems concerning the idea of a large-scale model of human historical development. In part II, I report on Kant’s reception of pragmatic history, and what he found lacking in important versions of it. This will clarify how his cosmopolitan conception of history can be seen as a response to the three problems outlined.